basket of autumn apples

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

John Keat’s poem To Autumn is one of the greatest ode’s for this season of harvest which also holds the promise of Spring even as it moves towards Winter.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
  Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
  Steady thy laden head across a brook;
  Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
  And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
  The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Now it’s your turn. Why not use the comment area below to share your own ode to Autumn, long, short, funny, melancholy. However Autumn is for you. Are you in the process of rebirth, starting again as the school year renews here in the UK, or are you reaping the harvest of spring and summer well lived?

You never know it may turn into the inspiration for an entry into future Hysteria Writing Competitions.

(Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay)


  1. Beatiful Autumn splendor fresh russet apples. Watchingvthe season wax and wain as the nights draw in.

    1. As you share Christine, the basket of apples almost smells of Autumn and everything I love about the season.

  2. Oh Linda – that is too wicked a prompt, a tricky challenge indeed. First I had to look up what an “ode” actually is, and then the rules of constructing one, which are many & varied. Wiki tells me that the English ode’s most common rhyme scheme is: ABABCDECDE.

    I’ll take their word on “most common”. I cross-checked this against the Keats, and I think I found his rhyme scheme was:
    ABAB CDEDCCE in the first stanza, and
    ABAB CDECDDE in the second stanza, and…
    I didn’t go any further.

    Clearly there is room for maneuver. Which left me wondering if I could construct an ode…..

  3. So then, I played…and came up with this… my Ode to Autumn (a work in progress, but maybe something in gestation – an autumnal idea in & of itself)

    Born of falling sap and stickiness,
    of windfalls on the ground,
    of greyer skies and earthiness,
    warm scents and thistle down.
    When Golden Rods turn to grey with seed,
    and blackberries fall for birds to feed.
    I begin my harvesting and foraging
    and storing memories against forgetting.

    Turning from scorched summer days
    bridging the gap to winter white
    I linger in your leaf-smoked haze
    and watch as all the birds take flight
    back to their warmer southern lands
    to burrow in some desert sands
    while I lay in stores of tea and socks
    to live out winter by the clock.

    1. Wow, I love autumn and you evoke the season beautifully Lesley, especially the smell of it, it has to be the warm earthiness of slightly dewy, damp woodland.

  4. Thanks for the prompt. I’m on holiday at the moment, but I had 2 ideas for an autumnal theme.

    Golden Years

    After the kaleidoscopic dazzle of youth,
    more seasoned shades ripen,
    and ease their way
    onto our canvass.

    Mellowed by experience,
    our palette blends
    gifts of nostalgic colours
    russet-rich in maturity
    with daubs of reflection.

    Before winter’s ripples breach our shores
    we look back, make peace with the view,
    consecrate some memories
    and, in our golden years,
    focus on what matters.

    A Haiku

    As autumn’s lease starts
    crisp leaves confetti the ground
    – summer’s wedding dress.

    1. Your poem reminds me of the apples I picked from our tree this morning ready to eat or use in puddings Ian. And not one but two with your wonderful haiku as well.

  5. This is a poem I wrote last year on the subject of autumn, having picked ten words that felt autumnal at the time.

    10 Autumn Words

    Fog, Still, Chill, Sunshine, Warmth, ‘Candles’, Outdoor, Comfort, Change, Eerie, Tractor, Donkeys

    Wake in the mornings, now to a new chill
    Reluctantly rise for the new day.
    Fog hangs low, air unpromisingly still
    An annual change is on its way.

    Eerie sound of far neighbour’s dog echoes
    Tractor starts its mechanical drone.
    Signs that this season doesn’t stop daily chores.
    Animals checked, furrows for new corn.

    Breakfast eaten, jobs almost completed,
    Fog lifts, sunshine filters weakly through.
    Surprise warmth, summer not yet depleted,
    Maybe Indian summer is due?

    ‘Candles’ on trees, orange hues now colour leaves.
    Michaelmas daisies abound with will.
    Sitting outdoors, wear something with long sleeves
    Face turned to the brightness, get one’s fill

    Take a walk along the local church trail.
    Outside the pub, still able to eat.
    Or down the lane to the marina, stroll,
    Comforting coffee from flask on a seat.

    At home moisture rises to soon be gone,
    Condensation, nature now employs.
    The donkeys begin their demanding song.
    Time for carrots for us to deploy!

    I hope you like it

    1. As a child one of my favourite of all plants was Michaelmas daisies, we had an abundance of them in the garden growing up and I now have an abundence on my allotment too. The bees love them and it’s one of my favourite things about autumn. thank you

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